Reports today have claimed that Manchester United are close to signing Benfica’s Victor Lindelof for £38m in the January transfer window.
The 22-year-old plays in defence and would be a welcomed addition to the squad, particularly if Eric Bailly leaves for the African Cup of Nations next month. Bailly is currently injured but if he recovers in time will miss January when representing the Ivory Coast. Chris Smalling, who incurred Jose Mourinho’s wrath after his abysmal performance in the 4-0 defeat against Chelsea, is also currently injured.
Phil Jones has done well since returning from his latest injury but has spent so long out on the sidelines over the past few years that it would be foolish to rely on him. Marcos Rojo has also done surprisingly well, even if he isn’t of the calibre United fans would want to regular start at the back.
So, who is Lindelof?
– He’s a 22-year-old Swedish international who has played for his country 11 times since making his debut in March, scoring one goal in this time.
– He started his career at his local team in Sweden before joining Benfica when he was 17 and largely featured for Benfica B.
– He’s a regular starter in the Benfica team that is currently top of the Portuguese league.
– He’s enjoyed success at U-21 level with his country. He captained Sweden to glory at the European U-21 Championship last year, converting the winning penalty in a shoot-out in the final to crown them champions. He was also included in the Team of the Tournament.
– He is at the centre of a dispute between his former club, Vasteras, and his current club. Benfica paid an initial €60,000 with the promise of a further €250,000 once the player made 10 appearances. However, as Lindelof has signed a new deal since joining Benfica, the club Portuguese club claim they no longer need to pay the second instalment. FIFA are currently investigating.
– He is 6ft 2in and his calmness under pressure has earned him the nickname ‘Iceman’.
– His current contract with Benfica expires in 2020.
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